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The wine regions in France are plentiful making this country a holiday favourite for most wine enthusiasts. Each region is responsible for producing a wide range of wines sure to suit different tastes and preferences.
As one of the most renowned wine making regions in the world, France accounts for 16% of the world’s total wine production, second only to Italy.
In this article, we’ll explore 10 of France’s most notorious wine regions and the wines they produce, so whatever wine it is you’re looking for, you’ll know the best place to look.
Set in the southwest of France, Bordeaux is home to over 60 vineyards, making primarily red wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.
Bordeaux is separated into 2 separate subregions; The Left Bank and The Right Bank. The left bank is well suited to Cabernet Sauvignon grapes due to its higher gravel content and the right bank faces much harsher temperatures with clay-rich soil, ideal for growing Merlot grapes.
Located in Eastern France, Burgundy is a 100-mile area that produces red wines, Burgundy White wines, Chardonnay, and Beaujolais.
All the red Burgundy Grands Cru vineyards are located on the Côte de Nuits or the northern part of the limestone ridge in this French wine region.
The smaller Jura wine regionhas a moderate climate and limestone soils that work best for the high-maintenance Pinot Noir grapes. With complex flavors and crisp acidity, white Burgundy wine is a Chardonnay lover’s dream.
The wines from Alsace are often named one of 3 main labels : Alsace, Alsace Grand Cru and Crémant d Alsace. Each wine is named after the grapes rather than the place of origin.
The wines from this region are often more affordable than other French labels but are still renowned for their flavour. The wines from this region incude Reisling, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer wines.
The northern most region in France is Champayne, just east of Paris. The region is divided into 3 areas – the Montagne de Reims, the Côte des Blancs, and Vallée de la Marne.
The wineries in this region use traditional methods and techniques to produce their wines. Each bottle of sparkling wine is fermented twice, a method that is known as méthode Champenoise.
The region also produces both vintage and non-vintage champagnes using only light-skinned grapes, typically 100% Chardonnay, which produces much lighter and dryer French wines.
Two very famous French wines from this region are Châteaunefuf-du-Pape and Hermitage. Recognised around the world, these wines are a favourite of many.
Divided by the Rhone river, the Rhone valley is made of 2 subregions – Northern Rhone and Southern Rhone Valley. Northern Rhone grows the Syrah grapes which produce a smoky and meaty expression. Southern Rhone however is all about the GSM blends.
Located on the Mediterranean coast, these wine regions are best known for their red and rosé wines, which are a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre, among others.
Their most popular wines include sweet wines made from Grenache Blends in Roussillon and their sparkling wines. Not only does this region produce wonderful wines, it is also home to stunning coastal scenery that is hard to forget.
Nestled in the northwest part of France, Loire Valley produces white wines like Sancerre, Vouvray, Pouilly-Fume, and Muscadet made from Melon de Bourgogne grapes. Loire Valley wines come in a variety of styles, from dry to sweet, lighter whites and sparkling.
Perhaps the most renowned of the Loire Valley appellations is the Sancerre. It is known for its limestone-rich soils and Sauvignon Blanc vineyards in Loire Valley.
Famous for both its stunning scenery and its rose wines, this region is tucked away on the south-eastern coast. Rich with both history and vineyard heritage, Provence is known around the world for its wine production.
Wines from this region are made from a blend of red grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre to produce a crisp, acidic, and fruity rose.
The Beaujolais area lies just south of Burgundy and is most famous for its Gamay vineyards. The fertile soil enriched by the Nizerand River holds the key to the Beaujolais flavor.
The light red Gamay Noir wines leave you with fruity aromas and flavors of the Beaujolais forests.
With close proximity to Tuscany, Corsica is a French island that produces a signature flavour in its wines, that can be closely compared to that of its Italian neighbour.
This region produces fine wines like Patrimonio, Ajaccio, Vin de Corse Sartène, and Vin de Corse.
This dark-skinned red grape variety is widely planted in Corsica and is used to make the AOC red Patrimonio. Neilluccio is closely related to Tuscany’s Sangiovese.
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